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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Campaign to reduce cyclist deaths
A police officer gives a cyclist safety advice in Edinburgh
Cyclists are being advised to use their commonsense
A two-week safety campaign is under way to reduce the number of cyclists killed and injured on Edinburgh's roads.

Lothian and Borders Police said there had been an "alarming" rise in cyclist deaths and injuries in the last five years.

Nine cyclists died, 164 were seriously hurt and 1,081 suffered minor injuries between 2000 and 2005.

Superintendent Colin McNeill said road safety officers would be giving cyclists advice during the campaign.

Between June 1995 and June 2000 there was one fatality involving a cyclist, with 57 people seriously injured and 376 minor injuries.

Lothian and Borders Police are concerned about the rise in fatalities in the last five years and have urged cyclists to travel with care.

Use safety helmets and other protective equipment
Wear suitable high visibility clothing so other road users can see you
Ensure lights on your bike are working

Mr McNeil said: "It was clear something needed to be done to try to reduce the number of cyclists being killed or injured on our roads.

"We know there has been an increase in the number of cyclists on the roads and this may well be one of the reasons for the marked increase.

"However, cyclists can take commonsense steps themselves to reduce the risk of being injured.

"We will have officers out at various cycle routes across the city over the next two weeks who will be speaking to cyclists about road safety issues and ensuring they are not breaking the law."

Cycling enthusiast Mark Sydenham runs the Bike Station in Edinburgh - a charity which renovates old bicycles for people such as the unemployed or the homeless.

He said: "People bring us their own bikes and we refurbish them.

Bike wheels
Police say they will make sure cyclists are not breaking the law

"It doesn't take very long to work out how it works. The old adage that once you've learnt to ride a bike, you never forget still holds true - irrespective of what kind of bike it is."

Ruairidh MacGlone, who is the organisation's training officer, said: "The largest problem is what people can expect from themselves.

"Mostly, people have a fairly set idea of what they are capable of and what the bicycle is capable of.

"Generally speaking, they can do so much more than they actually think they can do."

Police are urging motorists to give cyclists as much room as possible on the roads and take extra care when making manoeuvres.

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